So we all enjoy a bit of R&R, rest and relaxation. It reenergises us and gives us time to think about where we are at in life. Some do it by lying on a beach, some enjoy a great meal and some go skydiving. However you do it, it’s something to look forward to.
Now an organisation is never going to have time to sit back and take in the view otherwise it’s not producing. And we all know what happens then……
So how do we reenergise our employees? With some reward and recognition, the other R&R.
Now you are probably sitting there saying we have a great reward structure, better than our competitors. We have employee of the month, peer recognition and we celebrate our top performers at our quarterly meetings. We are good at this.
But we also have lower engagement than we would like. Our staff just aren’t on board and putting them on watch before we get rid of them. So I ask is your reward and recognition culture working?
We have reward buffets which allow employees to pick a reward that is most engaging to them. We ask staff to celebrate their colleagues to build team working. We give them a great christmas bonus. Well if your staff still aren’t satisfied then they need to man up as their isn’t much else you can afford to do.
For me, reward and recognition can be defined on two continuums: active or passive, personal and organisational
Ok so this may seem like a generalisation but bear with me. Now on the personal/organisational continuum the reward or recognition can either come from the organisation, through policies and initiatives, or personal, through your line-manager or someone else more senior and possibly from peers if the culture is right. Passive reward and recognition is determined by the controlling party, the management or organisational policy recognises good performance. Active recognition is determined by the actions of the employee, if they out perform, the manager or organisation then seek to recognise it.
Now active and passive recognition may both seem like part of the same process. So to break down this even more let’s take a look at each quadrant.
Passive organisational R&R – made up of reward structures, compensation and benefits, hierarchical promotion. Most practiced way for organisations to control the performance of their employees. Your employee gets rewarded for the long slog. If they miss one bit however, they miss out on all of it. Not the most engaging and not for everyone.
Active organisational R&R – during the current financial climate this is the most expensive and least likely to happen. Employee makes a substantial contribution and the organisation makes a promotion happen for them, creates a role, goes outside the regular benefits plan. If you’ve ever watched undercover boss, this is what happens there.
Both of these practices are great safety nets and standards to lure employees in. Day to day however, they don’t have much impact which is where the personal comes in.
Passive personal – now as a manager you already do this but maybe don’t realise it. This usually happens over time, your employee gains trust by performance, you listen to them and they are the first one in your mind when a new role comes up. This one falls prey to self-promotion from staff and impression management. Know it when you see it.
Active personal – This comes down to “catch them doing something right”. Managers tend to see whats stopping the numbers coming in. Some better managers look at what is stopping a team performing. The best managers look at what the team is doing right and letting them know about it. Reinforce the positive behaviours. This one is free but can have the most power day to day. If this is reward it could be a token gift for great performance. A surprise bottle of wine or box of chocolates or use of the company’s box at the game. The important thing here is being led by your teams performance. Don’t tell them when they have done well, realise when they have contributed to success. This might be in ways you hadn’t realised before. Ask yourself what does going the extra mile entail? The more you can help them see it. The more they will want to do it.
So when you are looking at how to increase performance through reward and recognition, remember to use all the tools available to you. Then you can engage all of your staff and not just the ones who work for their christmas bonus.